Why French Bulldogs Need C-Sections
Prospective French Bulldog buyers may not initially be aware and find out during their research that the breeding of this adorable pooch is an expensive and complicated process! Most Frenchie births occur via C-section (cesarean section).
This is due to their unique anatomy and build. Frenchies are cute dogs with big heads and broad chests. This poses a problem during natural birth because their head does not fit easily through their mother’s birth canal opening.
If the puppy gets stuck in the birthing canal, both the puppy as well as the mother, are at risk of losing their lives. In these situations, the puppy, any remaining puppies not born yet, and even the mother usually end up losing their lives.
Frenchies have around three puppies on average in a litter. If a mother is giving birth without a C-section, her uterus will be stretched and weak after, and she may take a long time to recover. In some instances, with larger litters, her uterus may even tear. Doing a C-section puts less stress on the mother and her body. Stress from the mother can transfer onto the babies and can also lead to fatalities during birth.
Another reason why a C-section is advised is to make sure all puppies have been delivered. It is possible that during natural birthing, a puppy is left behind and not pushed out. This can be a traumatic experience for the owner and the mother, who might push out a dead puppy a few days later and is prone to serious infection.
How French Bulldogs Are Bred
Female Frenchies are usually artificially inseminated to have puppies. This is because they have narrow hips and short legs. The males are unable to properly mount the female for a long enough duration to impregnate them.
It can be hard to tell when a female Frenchie is in heat because they may have irregular and “hidden” cycles due to thyroid problems. Usually, progesterone (a hormone that tells they are ready for breeding) tests are required to find out. Breeders will have to go on multiple visits to the vet to get her tested before they can artificially inseminate.
To confirm the pregnancy, an ultrasound is usually performed.
When Does A C-Section Take Place?
Typically, it takes around 63 days from the day of ovulation for a female Frenchie to give birth to her precious litter. Progesterone testing should be done regularly to be able to accurately determine when she is close to giving birth.
The owner or breeder should learn how to interpret the progesterone test results and the behavior of their pregnant Frenchie. This is to make sure that they plan and schedule a C-section and not an emergency one!
Another way to determine if your Frenchie is about to give birth is to check their rectal temperature. Their rectal temperature drops when they are about to start delivery, so it is important to monitor it around day 59 and so forth. The normal rectal temperature is usually between 100-102 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some other signs are if your Frenchie is acting irritated or depressed, not eating or digging at their bed and furniture.
How To Prepare Your Frenchie For A C-Section
The following tips should be followed only after being approved by your vet!
Since the mother dog is not having a natural birth, she may not develop maternal qualities and may not produce milk. She might also ignore or behave aggressively with her pups. So, to try and prevent this, you can make her wear a collar infused with pheromones, which will cause her to feel maternal. This may not always work, so you should be ready to take care of the puppies on your own for a while.
A few days before the delivery, you must stop feeding your Frenchie any medications they might be taking. Your doctor will also ask you to stop feeding your pooch the night before the surgery.
Always keep all your post-delivery supplies stocked and ready near the delivery date. In case of early delivery, you should have everything ready when you bring home the tired mother and her cute puppies.
Caring For Your French Bulldogs After The C-Section
The real work begins after the delivery takes place! You will be taking home a tired, medicated mother who has gone through a stressful operation, and tiny, fragile little puppies as well.
You will need to constantly keep a watch on the mother and ensure she is healing well after the surgery. Things like helping her move around, disinfecting wounds and stitches, helping her eat, etc. will all be your top priority. Keep an eye on her and always call your vet if you notice her health deteriorating or her wounds bleeding or getting infected.
Since the mother has gone through an operation and not natural birth, her maternal instincts may not kick in right away. This is why you always have to be around when she is near her puppies. She may ignore them or even step on them by accident! Till she comes around, you will have to play the role of a doting parent to the newborn puppies.
Newborn puppies are usually too weak and small to feed on their mothers. Sometimes, the mother will not want to be around her puppies! You will need to feed them yourself by the bottle or get them to feed every few hours.
Also, make sure the puppies are getting plenty of rest and are clean. Do not forget to schedule regular vet visits to check up on their progress.
Frequently Asked Questions
Prospective breeders and owners with pregnant Frenchies may have a lot of questions, which is only natural. Here we address some commonly asked questions about C-sections for French bulldogs.
How much does a C-section cost?
The whole breeding process of a French bulldog is an expensive one. A C-section can cost between 600-2000 US dollars. If you have planned your C-section, the price will likely be lower. Emergency C-sections are on the expensive side as they will require medical staff to spontaneously free up their schedule.
Do French Bulldogs give birth naturally?
In some rare cases, Frenchies can give birth naturally. This is not typical, though, and the owner or breeder should never assume that their Frenchie will be able to give birth without any medical assistance. There have been instances of them giving birth naturally, but the majority of French Bulldogs need C-sections.
Are Frenchies susceptible to other conditions during natural delivery?
Yes, female Frenchies are prone to experiencing anasarca and dystocia. Anasarca is a case of edema which causes swelling right before the mother gives birth. This puts the life of both the mother and puppy at risk, and an emergency C-section will have to be performed.
Dystocia refers to a difficult birth. It is when a puppy is unable to be birthed due to their physique and position blocking the birth canal.
Taking care of and breeding a Frenchie is a hard and expensive labor of love! If you are dedicated to the health of the mother and her puppies, you will have an adorable litter running around in no time. In case your Frenchie is pregnant while you are reading this, make sure to schedule in their vet appointment and C-section soon!